THE dispute between Pakistan and Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) over the Reko Diq mines in Balochistan appears to be headed to an out-of-court settlement. Earlier, the Supreme Court, in an order passed in January 2013, had declared void the Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement (CHEJVA) signed between the Balochistan government and Australian mining company BHP in 1993.
BHP later sold its stakes to a then unknown TCC, which ran the mine till the case started in 2008.
As the litigation continued, TCC also approached the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), initially citing breach of contract. However, the ICSID also denied its contention of mine ownership. The company then argued for loss of investments amounting to $400 million, and appears to have presented a case for a favourable verdict. However, it also appears willing to reach a compromise if allowed to maintain a stake in the lucrative venture.